ASAP: Seeking a Good Vet

by amy brockman · 0 comments ===> Tags: , ,

When faced with ferret disease is no time to choose a vet. Choose now.

Finding a vet who is qualified to care for ferrets can be a challenge and it’s certainly not a challenge you’ll want to take on quickly in an emergency. Now, when your ferrets are healthy, is the best time to locate a veterinarian who is skilled in working with ferrets.

It takes a bit of time and may seem like an unnecessary chore, but there are advantages to using a ferret vet.

Ferrets are prone to a number of unique health conditions and not all vets know enough about them to treat the illness in the best possible way. Not only will your ferret most likely receive better quality of care, but you’ll feel better knowing you’ve provided it, and you just might save a bundle of money doing it as well. In general, veterinarians who have spent a lot of time working with ferrets and are familiar with typical ferret illnesses are able to diagnose quicker with less unnecessary (and costly) experimentation and testing.

Veterinarians who are experienced working with ferrets will be knowledgeable about which vaccines are approved for use in ferrets, and will know to watch for signs of insulinoma and to routinely perform certain tests such as blood-sugar levels on ferrets over a certain age. They will also likely be experienced at performing surgeries on ferrets.

So where do you start looking for a ferret vet?

You can look in the Yellow Pages for a veterinarian who treats “exotics” or an online database such as this one at FerretHealth.org but probably an even better option is to start wherever you got the ferret. Whether you bought at a pet store or adopted from a shelter or rescue group, all should have had a need at some point for veterinary care. They’ll be able to tell you which vets provide good care and which to avoid. Word-of-mouth recommendations from other ferret owners is priceless.

If you live too far away from a ferret knowledgeable vet you may need to talk to your local vet and see if he or she is willing to learn about ferrets. Or you could depend on your local vet for routine treatments which doesn’t necessarily require expert treatment and use the expert for trickier illnesses.

The book Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery is a great resource for ferret owners who want to be able to understand common health conditions which affect these animals. It will help you understand what your vet is talking about and to be a better advocate for your pet. It’s also an excellent reference text for veterinarians. For veterinarians not knowledgeable about ferret care, it may be something you want to recommend.

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